This week, Talking Biz News Deputy Editor Erica Thompson reached out to Qwoted’s community of experts to inquire about the impact of social media. How does Facebook and the culture of social media affect the health of our children and teens?
Check out some of the top commentary:
For children and teens, social media informs their understanding of reality. Social media’s algorithms are designed to put forth the most engaging content that taps into our emotions at heightened levels. Whether that’s setting unrealistic expectations of reality, stoking fear, or incentivizing users to post dramatized versions of their daily lives, younger users are particularly affected. They only see the over-represented aspects of life that’s engaging or emotionally riveting, and that’s simply just not the case for most people in their everyday lives. No one posts the mundane or the difficult parts of daily living. Children are vulnerable to seeing on display only the most distorted view of reality that’s creating unrealistic expectations of how their lives should look, or a heightened sense of anxiety or fear.
Social media shows the perfect and leads grown adults to feel triggered that their life is not up to par because of the superficial images portrayed. Teens are even more perceptible and are likely to see their developing self esteem flounder because of it. The ability to direct message and hide behind a keyboard while not thinking through the words that are being typed is yet another reason why teens are negatively impacted by social media. When teens use social media one image or ill thought out word can potentially ruin their future. As a mother to two young girls, 8 and 12, both of my girls understand that they will not have social media accounts until they are considered adults, 18. Since I work with hundreds of women around the world I see the impact that social media has on their businesses but also their mental health. They are able to think through and rationalize their feelings while a teenager is unlikely to do this without the proper support.
Protecting your kids with these guidelines:
Decide what age you find appropriate to allow your kids to be on social media. 13 is usually an appropriate age depending on their maturity level.
Have them start with one social media account at a time.
Set limits on time used on devices. Don’t allow your kids unlimited time to be on social media. You can change the settings so that they can only use it for 30-45 minutes a day.
Don’t allow your kids to be on their devices during social family time, such as breakfast and dinner.
Stay informed about what your kid is doing on social media and educate them about it.